The Whole Sky

256p. Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Bks. Aug. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442414051.
Gr 4–8—Sky Traveler's whole life revolves around horses. But Sky's mom recently died from cancer, and her dad has been less focused on caring for the horses and more on drinking. To make matters worse, there is a mysterious sickness affecting all of the pregnant mares on Shaughnessy farm, and Sky's gift of understanding horses has not helped save any of the stillborn foals. Sky is a likable character who is the most well-developed member of the cast. Her grappling with her father's alcoholism and mother's death is handled gently, and she is resilient yet relatable. Her ability to communicate with horses is treated less as magic and more as an unquestioned skill, which works well to propel the narrative forward. The plot moves quickly, and the mystery of the mares' health issues coupled with Sky's personal relationships will keep readers interested until the end. Supporting characters could use some additional depth, as some of their stories come off as unrealized.
VERDICT Recommended for equestrian enthusiasts.

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